Jonathan Hill Dot EU

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Nails You Will Never Be One of Us Review

General Information:

Artist: Nails
Album: You Will Never Be One of Us
Genre(s): Rock
Subgenres(s): Grindcore
Released: 2016
Length: 22 minutes
Language(s): English
Label(s): Nuclear Blast

Track List:

01. You Will Never Be One of Us
02. Friend to All
03. Made to Make You Fail
04. Life is a Death Sentence
05. Violence is Forever
06. Savage Intolerance
07. In Pain
08. Parasite
09. Into Quietus
10. They Come Crawling Back

Nails You Will Never Be One of Us Cover

Nails You Will Never Be One of Us Cover

Nails You Will Never Be One of Us Review

You Will Never Be One of Us is the third album by American grindcore band Nails. The band has remained largely consistent with all of the common threads running through their previous albums still being present here. For anyone unfamiliar with Nails, their template is along the lines of:

• 10 songs per album
• Angry and/or pessimistic lyrics
• Incorporating elements of sludge metal and noise into their grindcore sound
• Chaotic micro-songs
• Ending the album with a noticeably longer and more experimental song
• Masterful tempo shifts

The Nails sound can still be summed up as “utter chaos” or that “it’s almost entirely forgettable because it is over before it starts” in reference to aforementioned micro-songs playing at breakneck tempos.

You Will Never Be One of Us received the customary testosterone injection to ensure that fans can rejoice at the unrepentant ferocity that Nails are known for. Vocalist Todd Jones, who had a throaty shout on their previous two albums, has now adopted a more guttural style that also appears to have been altered in the studio at the same time.

Friend to All and Life is a Death Sentence both feature the masterful tempo shifts that see Nails instantly drop the suffocating blast beats to switch to the bridge of the song or a slower guitar riff respectively because despite rushing through songs, they always manage to find time to throw this impressive feat into the mix.

There is some change to be found in the title track and Violence is Forever. Both are fairly accessible, at least by Nails standards, with the former having the mantra “you will never be one of us” far more distinguishable from the other lines to give it something resembling a hook (albeit loosely) and the latter focuses on memorable riffs while playing for a reasonable three and a half minutes. Some noise is then thrown in at the end just in case you thought Nails might go easy on your ears.

As Nails tradition has it, the final song is longer and more experimental than the rest and They Come Crawling Back does not disappoint. At 8 minutes long it takes up a little over 1/3 of the album and is by far the longest song Nails have recorded by about 3 minutes. It starts out with a slow, desolate black metal guitar riff accompanied by the lo-fi distortion you’d expect from an early 90s album before thundering into life. Starting with lots of momentum, the song slows down and eventually enters into sludge metal territory that is spliced up with some guitar screeching to disorientate the listener and a few of the words are quietly spoken too.

If you are already a fan of Nails then You Will Never Be One of Us will not disappoint. For those wondering where to start with Nails then the longer playing time and improved song writing will make this album an ideal starting point. Nails haven’t changed that much so for the minor differences to add up to something significant it will be over the course of a few albums.

Performers:

Todd Jones: Vocals, guitars
John Gianelli : Bass guitar
Taylor Young: Drums

External Links:

Nails Homepage
Nails on Wikipedia
You Will Never Be One of Us on Wikipedia

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Nails Abandon All Life Review

General Information:

Artist: Nails
Album: Abandon All Life
Genre(s): Rock
Subgenres(s): Grindcore
Released: 2013
Length: 17 minutes
Language(s): English
Label(s): Southern Lord

Track List:

01. In Exodus
02. Tyrant
03. Absolute Control
04. God’s Cold Hands
05. Wide Open Wound
06. Abandon All Life
07. No Surrender
08. Pariah
09. Cry Wolf
10. Suum Cuique

Nails Abandon All Life Cover

Nails Abandon All Life Cover

Nails Abandon All Life Review

Abandon All Life is the second album by American grindcore band Nails. Three years on from their debut and Nails show no signs of slowing down as they ferociously hammer through another uncompromising batch of micro-songs.

There’s barely a moment to breathe and at 17 minutes long Abandon All Life is somehow as long as it needs to be. To demonstrate the direct and uncompromising mission statement from Nail you need not look any further than the 23 second vignette that is Cry Wolf. It is nothing but sheer auditory terror that also leads to the crux of the problem with this kind of song writing: it’s almost entirely forgettable because it is over before it starts.

This isn’t to say that there isn’t any talent here; it’s simply a case of beyond the raw intensity of their performance you will be hard-pressed to find much else.

With their intense anger, short blasts of chaos and lack of anything even remotely nuanced Nails are squarely on the caveman side of extreme music which will make Abandon All Life a welcome addition to any grindcore collection but for anyone anticipating an expansion on their foundation will be left to look elsewhere.

Performers:

Todd Jones: Vocals, guitars
John Gianelli : Bass guitar
Taylor Young: Drums
Andy Saba: Lead guitar

External Links:

Nails Homepage
Nails on Wikipedia
Abandon All Life on Wikipedia

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Nails Unsilent Death Review

General Information:

Artist: Nails
Album: Unsilent Death
Genre(s): Rock
Subgenres(s): Grindcore
Released: 2010
Length: 14 minutes
Language(s): English
Label(s): Six Feet Under Records, Southern Lord

Track List:

01. Conform
02. Scum Will Rise
03. Your God
04. Suffering Soul
05. Unsilent Death
06. Traitor
07. I Will Not Follow
08. No Servant
09. Scapegoat
10. Depths

Nails Unsilent Death Cover

Nails Unsilent Death Cover

Nails Unsilent Death Review

Unsilent Death is the debut album of American grindcore outfit Nails. At only 3 minutes longer than their 2009 EP, Obscene Humanity, this brings the total running time to approximately 14 minutes. For a debut album this is a meagre introduction on the surface because it doesn’t give the impression that you can fit much into such a short span of time.

Nails are quick on the draw to prove the listener wrong and throw you into the middle of their sonic fray with Conform, a 31 second blast straight from the bowels of hell that leads right into Scum Will Rise through feedback noises to continue their sensory assault. This serves as the base-line for Unsilent Death and there’s rarely a moment to remember because of the utter chaos compacted into these micro-songs, of which many are under a minute long, since it’s next to impossible to digest what you hear when most tracks almost start before the last one ends.

Suffering Soul and the title track do manage to slow down and retain some sense of melody, mainly due to the fact that there is a heavier focus on hardcore punk. At best it proves that Nails don’t have an entirely one-track mind and at worst were included for the sake of variety but in either scenario their inclusion works to the advantage of the album. The title track is especially well crafted and includes some of the bands noise elements.

For the listeners who manage to wade their way through Unsilent Death will also pick up on the knack that Nails possesses to do sudden, sharp tempo shifts in a seemingly effortless manner without ever sounding disjointed as demonstrated in the 28 second long track Traitor.

Every musical element from the blasting grindcore sounds to feedback noise and even sludge metal are used on the closing track, Depths, which proves that Nails are capable of far more dynamic compositions when they put their minds to it and they achieve far better results on the few longer tracks on Unsilent Death.

Nails are catering to the furthest ends of the extreme music community and if you happen to have a penchant for short blasts of unrelenting chaos and/or lack anything that resembles an attention span then you will feel right at home with Unsilent Death. For everyone else there isn’t going to be much in the way of replay value bar a few shining moments.

Performers:

Todd Jones: Vocals, guitars
John Gianelli : Bass guitar
Taylor Young: Drums

External Links:

Nails Homepage
Nails on Wikipedia
Unsilent Death on Wikipedia

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Dope Stars Inc. Neuromance Review

General Information:

Artist: Dope Stars Inc.
Album: Neuromance
Genre(s): Electronic Rock
Subgenres(s): Dance Rock
Released: 2005
Length: 59 minutes
Language(s): English, German
Label(s): Metropolis Records, Trisol Music Group

Track List:

01. 10,000 Watts
02. Infection 13
03. Platinum Girl
04. Mark a Star
05. Vyperpunk
06. Generation Plastic
07. Rebel Riot
08. Theta Titanium
09. Self Destructive Corp.
10. Plug ‘n’ Die
11. Defcon 5
12 Trance-Former
13. C-Beams

Dope Stars Inc Neuromance Cover

Dope Stars Inc Neuromance Cover

Dope Stars Inc. Neuromance Review

Neuromance is the first album by Italian electronic rock band Dope Stars Inc. Naming the album after the cyberpunk novel Neuromancer by author William Gibson, Dope Stars Inc frequently reference dystopian and technological themes in their lyrics which are spliced in with their dance rock hybrid sound.

Right off the bat the listener will find that Dope Stars Inc. lean heavily to the dance side of their influences with the rock side being secondary in most cases. The first song, 10,000 Watts, begins with a stadium crowd shouting and chanting before a garbled robotic voice queues the band to start with a steady rhythm composed of a simple drum machine loop and overlying synthesisers. The guitar doesn’t come into full swing until the chorus and the heavily distorted tone contrasts with the upbeat synthesiser sounds but at the same time it compliments singer Victor Love’s throaty voice.

C-Beams is instrumental aside from some small film samples and it closes Neuromance as one of the more pure electronic songs in that it concentrates on synth driven melodies and the drum machine until the bridge which introduces a low rumbling guitar riff and a stomping drumbeat that changes the tone of the song entirely. On the other hand Theta Titanium is as strong as the name suggests and concentrates almost exclusively on the abrasive guitar. Victor Love almost shouts some of his lyrics here but the real anomaly is that at near 3 minutes into the song everything cuts out and is replaced exclusively with a dance section that slowly builds up for 2 minutes and makes you forget about the punishing nature of the first part of the song before throwing you right back into it.

Platinum Girl is a love song that alternates between a rock verse that is also somewhat reflected in the percussion and a frantic yet brief electronic chorus. This, along with Make a Star, are of a slower tempo than many other songs on Neuromance but the latter seems to have been on the receiving end of a severe brick wall production job that makes it particularly difficult to listen to despite making uncharacteristic use of an acoustic guitar and a melodic guitar solo on one of the songs that focuses on the rock side of their sound.

Despite being Italian all of the lyrics are sung in English with the exception of a verse that is repeated in 10,000 Watts which, as curve ball, is in German. Vyperpunk seems to be about expressing self-loathing and dehumanisation through a virtual reality (“just giving me a VR-place/and kill me every time you want/keep loading shit into my head/it makes me feel like an empty drone”) and digital democracy is referenced in Rebel Riot (“all the networks are casting their own votes/that’s an auction/choosing for election/sweat is running over and over”). Theta Titanium is an apocalyptic song about the destruction and subsequent evacuation of Earth during a war which the protagonist returns to sometime in the future (“I see my Earth again yeah/but I can see just through/the windows of my ship/I see my Earth again yeah/unrecognizable, destroyed by human race”).

While Neuromance does have some short comings, particularly in terms of the overall quality of the lyrics, these can be put down to the fact that Dope Stars Inc. are not native speakers of English and this will improve over time as they progress in their career. Dope Stars Inc. has a unique sound and a lot of potential so it will be interesting to hear how they bridge the gap between rock and electronic music, which is quiet a task in its own right, on their future output.

Performers:

Victor Love: Lead vocals, guitar, synthesizers, drum machine
Alex Vega: Guitar
Darin Yevonde: Bass guitar

External Links:

Dope Stars Inc. on Bandcamp
Dope Stars Inc. on Wikipedia
Neuromance on Wikipedia